Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. Isaiah 62:4 NLT
Has life left you with labels that leave you empty? Hopeless? Without meaning? Unworthy?
Maybe it was life or the people in it that dealt the blows leading to those labels. Or maybe it was your own choices that gave you cause to place the labels upon yourself.
- Maybe it was the betrayal of someone you trusted
- The loss of a job
- When you followed the world and its ways instead of God and His ways
For each of us the story is different. The logistics all unique. But the shame that finds its way into the crevices of our soul is quite similar.
It grows insidiously and leads us to behave in ways that do not bring out our best. Sometimes we hide from the world or other times we come out swinging aggressively to protect ourselves.
Either way, it’s a survival strategy that doesn’t lead us to the fullness of God’s love and grace.
But there is a way to walk out of that shame. A way to claim the identity as a child of God and live in the fullness of His love and grace. I don’t just say that because it sounds good, either. I say that because it’s right there in the Word of God and because I’ve lived it. I’ve lived labels and shame and then I lived the redemption provided by God with His love and grace. It’s the reason for my hope.
I am “The City of God’s Delight.”
You see, I once lived feeling as though I were “The Forsaken City”. But today I recognize the truth and know I am “The City of God’s Delight.” It didn’t happen overnight and every day I must intentionally stay in my spiritually defensive stance. A stance that protects me when the temptation to go back to old habits arises. But God’s spirit is alive in me and my life is changed. I understand now that the Lord delights in me and wants me to delight in Him each day.
With each sunrise we have a fresh start. A day to start believing truth. To start capturing lies and replacing them with what God says to be Truth – real Truth. A day to start seeing ourselves as the “City of God’s Delight.”
One Right Step at a Time
I know the task ahead may appear overwhelmingly large. You may wonder just how or where to start. I can only tell you to just focus on the next right step. One at a time. Cheering loudly for each one made in the right direction and running to the grace of God for the steps that take you astray.
Taking Thoughts Captive
However, one powerful place to start is with our thought life. Are your thoughts self-defeating? What do you say to yourself about yourself? Are you your own bully? Sadly, far too many of us are.
We can change that, though. Starting today, let’s begin capturing those bully thoughts and replacing them with Truth.
For example, when our thoughts say, “I am invisible.” Take those words captive and trade them for the Truth of God which says, “I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
Or, when our thoughts say, “I am nothing special,” capture them and trade them for the Truth that says, “I am God’s workmanship.” (Ephesians 2:10)
When we hear, “Everyone rejects me,” cancel those words with God’s Word and claim, “I am chosen and dearly loved.” (Colossians 3:12)
It is a process, but the more familiar we become with the Word of God and the more we practice taking our thoughts captive, the sooner we find freedom. One by one we cancel out the lies and we replace them with Truth. Then, we experience a change – a label that leaves us filled with hope, meaning, and purpose.
Yes, then you can confidently claim the truth and realize The Lord delights in you.